Alex Rogers discusses whether or not Ragnar Klavan deserves to be criticised as much as he has by Liverpool fans in recent weeks.
Ragnar Klavan has had a very average Liverpool career so far. He’s not been bad, yet he hasn’t been great. In fact, it’s arguable that he’s made a few more mistakes than he’s had good moments so far in a Liverpool shirt.
When Klavan came in, he was seen as a direct replacement to the controversial Martin Skrtel but he wasn’t seen as a player that would dominate in central defence for many years to come. Klavan is most likely seen as a third choice centre back and I’m pretty sure he knew he wouldn’t be a starting player week in, week out.
But as of late, Klavan has been a starting player with Matip out of the team due to injuries and complications with FIFA. And in these games that Klavan has played, he’s been very up and down, sometimes making a great tackle, but on the other hand, he’s made awful mistakes.
The defence is most certainly missing Matip and we have suffered because of it. The obvious connection to this is that if we’ve not been as good since losing Matip, then it must be Klavan’s fault for our slump in form, yes? Maybe yes, but also maybe no.
It’s too easy to blame Klavan, he’s the obvious scapegoat. I’ve seen a lot of criticism towards our dear Ragnar, some of it deserved but a lot of it hugely exaggerated to how he’s actually played.
His performance against Southampton was questionable, to say the least. When you’ve had as much experience as Klavan has, you should really be able to make a clearance without missing the flipping ball! I’m still annoyed about that. But let’s not forget that he’s also had very solid games, and I’d say that he’s adapted very quickly to his new surroundings.
I would think that in some other teams in the Premier League, Klavan could definitely be a starter which is no small feat. Klavan, like I mentioned before, was brought in for his experience and so far, he’s been utilised very effectively in games where experience was needed. Apart from a few mistakes, he’s been doing exactly what he was brought in to do.
No one expected Klavan to be the next Maldini, definitely not, but people did expect him to be at least half good. So far it’s 50/50 on how people view him. Personally, I think he’s done well for himself. Also, he has the coolest name going.